2024 Oklahoma football position preview: Wide Receiver Jalil Farooq

Before the 2024 Oklahoma football season, we provide an in-depth analysis of the Sooners football roster. Today's preview is of senior wide receiver Jalil Farooq.
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Wait a minute. Can college football players still play their entire career at one school? Yep, that's precisely what Jalil Farooq will accomplish this year, a feat becoming increasingly rare due to the infamous transfer portal. Jalil Farooq is Oklahoma football.

Farooq enters his senior campaign as the leader in the wide receiver room. He has made massive plays in his career and proven himself one of the 2024 Sooner's leaders. During his career in Norman, Jalil has caught 86 balls for 1,229 yards (14.3 avg) and 7 touchdowns.

Under Seth Littrell's air raid offensethis year, I see Farooq primarily utilized as an outside option. His best skill is his catch-and-run capability, but he will fitinthis scheme as a deep-threat option. With Nic Anderson and Deion Burks potentially being the go-to initial options for Jackson Arnold, I see Jalil Farooq benefiting from multiple single-coverage matchups. 

Anderson plays outside, and Burks plays the slot (although he's mostly a deep route runner). So, that leaves short routes and 3rd choice check-downs to Farooq. He caught 45 passes last year with an average of 15.4 yards per catch. This year, I see him catching more passes, somewhere in the 55 to 60 range, but the yardage will be similar because I don't see him being used as a deep ball receiver.

One area I expect to see Jalil's numbers jump is the touchdowns. Last year, he caught 2 touchdowns. I see him breaking 8 or 9 scores this year, especially when the Sooners get into the red zone.

Jalil will impact this team the most during the week, both in practice and off the field. The Sooners have a ton of depth at the wide receiver position, but most of it is young. He will be depended on by receivers coach Emmett Jones to be a leader for the Sooners' offense. Young guys like Anderson, Pettaway, Gibson, and JJ Hester can benefit immensely from learning to work like Jalil Farooq.

Jalil's stats aren't breaking any records, and he doesn't necessarily appear on any preseason All-SEC Teams. However, Jalil Farooq is a rarity in today's college football landscape. He is a leader who has crafted his career through hard work and loyalty to the program. For this reason, he will go down as one of the most beloved Sooners in the Brent Venables era of Oklahoma football.

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